Death by Cliché.
Well. It’s been a bit. My series on plotting is done now done. In the mean time Trump has become a thing, Syria exploded, the Cubs look like they’ll get a wildcard spot, and James Wymore found out how to use the broken dreams of orphans as an alternative fuel source. The boy’s got pluck.
But none of that is really relevant to these posts.
Since we last spoke, I received the copy edits from my book. These came from Matthew Cox. Evidently Matthew was one of the readers that recommended buying the novel in the first place. I knew the edits were coming because I began getting Facebook messages from him, explaining how to read them. “I marked the double tags.” or “I marked repetitive words, but I marked them all in different colors.” Or. “You use the word ‘just’ a lot and I have a gun, a big trunk, and a discrete friend. Stop it.”
His Facebook messages were, overall, very encouraging. I know that copy editing is a job for him, and as a game designer I understand how quickly something you love can become a chore, so it was great to see how excited he was to pick up the edits again.
The edits were very different than I expected. Matthew considers repetitive words, overused structures, and passive voice all the domain of the copy editor. Some of his notes required ground-up restructuring of entire paragraphs. That made the novel better, but it did leave me a little worried.
I went through his notes in a couple weeks. They were too extensive to just use the review feature to accept and reject everything. I did pull him into a long Facebook message discussion one night because he was having trouble with a scene in general and I wanted to try to understand why. Most of the rest of the time I tried to leave him alone.
Eventually, I finished and turned it in. I have a vague disquiet about the whole thing, though. I know that I introduced new typos in those edits. They were just too extensive for me not to. My fear is that I introduced more than we corrected.
I asked the publisher about this, and he told me the thing would just be sitting in his inbox until it was time for layout. That gives me a little relief because now I can use my audiobook prep as a second big proofing pass. I found three typos in the first night.
There should be more chances. I’ll get ARCs, etc, at some point. The book isn’t finished until it’s published. And if you take the Hobbit as your example, not even then.
I think this is the point where I’m feeling the most angst because there is so little left to go as far as the text is concerned. I’ve been working with this text on and off for something like nine years. Now it’s in someone else’s hands.
So I’ll be insecure. I’ll worry. I’ll fret. I’ll do any other synonyms you like.
But it’s off.
The bright side is we turned it in earlier than they expected, so they moved the publication up to their first available date. The book is now scheduled to release on May 30th. The same month as my birthday. Unfortunately, that makes my book a Gemini.
Next week we’re going to talk about audiobooks. My voice is already scratched.
That post will hit while I’m at Salt Lake Comic Con, so the post after that will probably involve conventions and a writer. That might be a new series. We’ll see how much I have to say when the time comes.
[Orignally posted at: http://www.robertjdefendi.com/main/2015/9/14/your-first-published-novel-part-13]
The next installment awaits...Slouching Towards Amazon: LTUE Post Mortem